then be tried because of his physical and mental
condition, but that the charges against him in the Indictment should
be retained for trial thereafter, if the physical and mental
condition of the defendant should permit. On 17 November 1945 the
Tribunal decided to try the Defendant Bormann in his absence under
the provisions of Article 12 of the Charter. After argument, and
consideration of full medical reports, and a statement from the
defendant himself, the Tribunal decided on 1 December 1945 that no
grounds existed for a postponement of the Trial against the Defendant
Hess because of his mental condition. A similar decision was made in
the case of the Defendant Streicher.
In accordance with Articles 16 and 23 of the Charter, Counsel were either chosen by the defendants in custody themselves, or at their request were appointed by the Tribunal. In his absence the Tribunal appointed Counsel for the Defendant Bormann, and also assigned Counsel to represent the named groups or organizations.
The Trial, which was conducted in four languages English, Russian, French, and German began on 20 November 1945, and pleas of "Not Guilty" were made by all the defendants except Bormann.
The hearing of evidence and the speeches of Counsel concluded on 31 August 1946. Four hundred and three open sessions of the Tribunal have been held. Thirty-three witnesses gave evidence orally for the Prosecution against the individual defendants and 61 witnesses, in addition to 19 of the defendants, gave evidence for the Defense.
A further 143 witnesses gave evidence for the Defense by means of written answers to interrogatories.
The Tribunal appointed Commissioners to hear evidence relating to the organizations, and 101 witnesses were heard for the Defense before the Commissioners, and 1,809 affidavits from other witnesses were submitted: Six reports were also submitted, summarizing the contents of a great number of further affidavits.
Thirty-eight thousand affidavits, signed by 155,000 people, were submitted on behalf of the Political Leaders, 136,213 on behalf of the SS, 10,000 on behalf of the SA, 7,000 on behalf of the SD, 3,000 on behalf of the General Staff and OKW, and 2,000 on behalf of the Gestapo.
The Tribunal itself heard 22 witnesses for the organizations. The documents tendered in evidence for the Prosecution of the individual defendants and the organizations numbered several thousands. A complete stenographic record of everything said in Court has been made, as well as an electrical recording of all the proceedings.
Copies of all the documents put in evidence by the Prosecution have been supplied to the Defense in the German language. The
Last modified: October 10, 1998